July 10, 2008

Short track race report

I’m hoping to have pictures later today (edit: here you go). I’m told I got some sweet air off of a jump. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Finally healthy, so I rolled over to the research park to inhale some dust and try not to get lapped by Jeremy.

Taryn managed to avert her eyes from a horrific crash (broken handlebar) in the women’s B race. I’m told it was *really* bad, and that the person left in an ambulance, which I think is a first for the short track series.

In the men’s Bs, Boardman and Ian looked to be rocking it, but I don’t know how they did. Boardman had a bad start, which is unusual for him, but he reports that he still managed his traditional midrace blowup. Nice work, B!

Women’s A was stacked, with Del Starr, Heather Irmiger, Ann Trombley, and a host of other big names lined up. Probably 20-25 racers! Eszter rocked it and battled it out with Ann for the whole race and was finally 6th or so.

Men’s A was a smallish field of 35 or so (I think) with all the local big guns out there – JHK, Brady Kappius, Fuentes, Colby Pierce, Ward Baker, and Brian Alders, among others. Probably a solid 10 real pros, and then a host of wannabe pros and semipros to fill things out. The start was a little crazy – I nearly crashed in the first corner, as we went into it about 3 riders abreast, with loose cobbles flying under people’s wheels. But I managed not to go down and settled into about 15th place, which is an above average start for me.

This is by far the best picture ever taken of me trying to catch a grape in my mouth while going off a jump. Oh, wait, I just have my mouth hanging open for no reason…rad. Anyone who suggests I’m screaming in terror and/or about to crap my pants (this is just the takeoff…) doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Seriously.

The course was fantastic, with lots of twisty singletrack, jumps, and loose offcamber turns. A real mountain biker’s course. I could see Yuki about 5 riders ahead of me and managed to get up to him about halfway through the race. We actually took turns pulling and were reeling people in pretty nicely – with 3 or 4 laps to go, we were 7th/8th. Unfortunately, something put a nice slash in the sidewall of my rear tire, and I was reduced to *crawling* through all the corners (and crashing hard in one of them) to try to keep enough air in to finish the race. With 1 to go, I finally couldn’t ride the bike anymore and ran into the pits to pump it up. Of course, I lost about 10 places while doing that, but the tire held air long enough for me to finish my last lap and make it home afterwards. All in all, a great race and a fun evening. I’m still coughing up dust this morning, but that’s bike racing for you!